Choosing and Installing EXIT ALARMS

When specifying any locking device which is used on an exit, fire door or along the path of egress, the code requirements for that opening and occupancy must be determined, and only approved hardware be used.


Sometimes it is necessary to deploy a door alarm in a hurry due to a change in building usage or revised risk assessment. A door alarm can be used in conjunction with other security measures such as the premises alarm so that a door opening can be handled without involving a central station or the entire alarm system.

Standalone access control devices, whether key, keypad or credential based, are typically unable to provide real time reporting or local audible annunciation. Even those systems which provide audit trails of legal and illegal door usage, the information must be uploaded and evaluated.

A door alarm system may be implemented which will not only alert if a violation occurs, but can also trigger a CCTV camera to record the event and enable it to be viewed from CCTV monitors or even workstations on the network virtually anywhere. Equipping a door alarm system with a wireless alarm transmitter further extends the functionality of the door alarm, the access control system and the perimeter alarm system.

Delayed Egress Systems also provide exit alarm and door locking functionality, along with inhibiting egress to assist authorities to gain control of the situation. Examples would be a shoplifting in progress or a wandering Alzheimer’s patient.

The NFPA #101 Life Safety Code Special Locking Arrangements (as well as other building codes) dictate the required features of a delayed egress system, and all delayed egress systems are subject to approval by the LAHJ.

Delayed egress systems present a compromise solution to openings where both security and life safety are required. The compromise is the delayed egress locking arrangement which basically does the following:

Doors unlock upon actuation of the fire protection system

Doors unlock upon loss of power controlling the locking mechanism

Door unlock upon disablement of the fire protection system

An irreversible process releases the lock within 15 seconds upon application to the release device (15 lb. for not more than 3 seconds)

Initiation of the release process activates an audible signal in the vicinity of the door

After release, locking shall be by manual means only

Signage on egress side of door reading, “Push until alarm sounds. Door can be opened in 15 seconds.” ALARM LOCK

Alarmlock’s Model PG30 Narrow Keypad Door Alarm Center offers a variety of features for custom applications. Other versions of this unit utilize a mortise cylinder instead of a keypad. Features include:

Digital codes for Master, Management and Passage (used for Auto-Arming)

Three security levels for high security, unattended applications and flexible control for delivery doors, etc.

Three Programmable 95db siren styles: sweep, pulsed, and steady audible low battery warning

For optional use with the PG30, the PGKPD low-profile, brushed aluminum finished accessory provides all functions of the PG30 from the outside of the door.

Alarm Lock also offers the Sirenlock™ Models 250, 260, 700, and 710 UL Listed panic alarm deadbolt devices which restrict unauthorized use of exit doors by sounding an alarm, while providing instant egress in emergencies. Weatherproof electronic alarmed panic locks 700x28WP and 250x28WP are suitable for outdoor use.

Von Duprin

Von Duprin’s Chexit is designed for use on delayed exit applications. The Chexit system is ideal for controlled areas. This concept in delayed exit systems combines life safety with the needs of security and meets all requirements of NFPA 101 for “Special Locking Arrangement”

The Chexit system will keep an exit door secured for a 15-second period, yet tied into the fire alarm system, it will release immediately when an alarm condition exists. All controls, auxiliary locking, local alarm, and remote signaling output are self-contained in the Chexit assembly, providing safe, secure and easy to install door control hardware.

The Chexit system is ideal for highly controlled areas such as airports, hospitals, government facilities and development labs, retail stores, libraries and security facilities.

Models CX98 and CX99 are available for rim, mortise lock and surface and concealed vertical rod mounting styles. CX33A and CX35A are available on rim mounting style only.

Chexit is UL listed for use on panic or fire exit doors 3 or 4 feet wide.

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